Virtual Conference
Mental Health 2022

Craig Stern

Sociology and Human Services at San Juan College, United States of America

Title: Educating the next generation about mental health


Mental health stigma is a profound issue among youth and young adults in the United States.  Currently, a mental health crisis is occurring in the primary and secondary school systems and higher education in the U.S.  Using age-appropriate resources and literature, it is essential to support youth and young adults to have mental health conversations, to encourage them to be open when they are having such challenges, and to train faculty and staff on how to recognize the early warning signs of a mental health challenge in students.   Mental health stigma is not only prevalent within students, it can also exist within a student’s culture and family.  Primary and secondary schools and colleges need to find ways to educate students about mental health while also being sensitive to the family and cultural dynamics.   It is necessary to create a cultural climate within the schools and on college campuses that embraces mental health awareness; reduces mental health stigma among students, staff, and faculty; and promotes help-seeking.  Schools and college campuses also need to educate students about self-care stressing the importance that mental health wellness is just as important as physical wellness.


Craig Stern earned his master’s in social work from the University of Denver in 2002.  After graduation, he practiced for 6 years developing programs for persons in their mental health recovery.  He began teaching in higher education in 2007, and he was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University for five years.  Mr. Stern has also taught in the social work program at the University of Denver and in various community colleges in the Four Corners of the U.S.   His teaching specialty is research methods and statistics.  Currently, he is a doctorate of social work student at Tulane University expected to graduate in the fall semester of 2022.  He is also a licensed social worker in the State of Colorado